Business Insider has a piece from Dan Frommer discussing what appears to be an epidemic – Journalism professionals wishing to erase their crappy college work from existence:
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a nice feature about the subject in its May 15 issue, called “Alumni Try to Rewrite History on College-Newspaper Web Sites.”
But it turns out this is more common than we thought. Someone from my alma mater — Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism — is petitioning the school paper right now to remove some of their columns from the site that they’re not particularly proud of. In this case, the paper wouldn’t delete the articles — that’s really crossing the line — but it might consider hiding them from Google, which could be less troublesome.
Last night on CobWEBs, we talked about why it seems people in our sector don’t reach for the simple solution when trying to rectify problems. Both Dan and his friend (who he quoted in his BI piece) suggest either redacting the original pieces, or hiding them from Google since they have higher SERP rankings.
Here’s an idea – writing something better!
There’s a million ways to get better SERPs for newer articles – how about doing a guest post for a high pagerank blog, and instead of linking to old college work in your bio, link to the new stuff?
Or how about hitching your new articles’ feeds to Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed?
There are a million ways to fix this ‘problem’ without self-censorship.
Of course, that’d mean learning about how the Internet works, and then engaging critical thinking – something Heritage Media journalists are often loathe to do.